Top Ten Tuesday

10 Books I Meant to Read in 2017 But Didn't

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

I do this post almost every year. It's the post where I tell you ten books I should have read by now but haven't. And it's supposed to work: supposed to embarrass me enough that I go and devour them in the next possible second. I did some research -- all of two minutes -- and found that in last year's post: 10 Books From 2016 Still Out in the Cold, I was able to read 7 books from that list in 2017. So, success!


Since I was able to embarrass myself enough last year with the many books I still haven't picked up, hopefully by this time next year I will have read all ten books on this list! At least, I can dream. Top Ten Tuesday is created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (but will be moved to That Artsy Reader Girl next week). This week's topic is: Top Ten Books We Meant to Read But Didn't.


Allegiant by Veronica Roth: When Divergent and Insurgent first released, I jumped right into them. I devoured them. However, I went off to school and totally forgot about the release of Allegiant. Then I got spoiled to what happens in the last book of the series and ugh, I'm not about that life. So, it still sits on my shelf. But, hopefully, I'll change that soon (as I've said since it released...).

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green: Being such a big fan of John Green's, you'd think I have read his latest work five times by now. However, in my defense, I just received a copy over the holidays.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon: Is it weird that I have been waiting for the hype to die down? When Dimple Met Rishi sounds like the perfect summer novel about camp and romance. It sounds like something I'd really love but I don't want the hype speaking for me so I'm waiting on it. Does that make sense?


Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare: This is the second year it's been on a list like this. However, 2018 is the year I start this new series, The Dark Artifices. In 2017, I finished City of Heavenly Fire and Clockwork Princess (FINALLY!), the series-enders to the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices. I'm ready for this one!

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera: Since, I was just gifted his latest, They Both Die at the End, for Christmas, I need to get to his debut. I just know I'll probably cry and I'm not ready for the heartbreak that are Silvera's novels.

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson: In 2017, I read The Unexpected Everything and despite being a bit long, I really enjoyed it. Next on my Morgan Matson TBR is Since You've Been Gone. I will probably read it during the warmer months but I'm excited for it.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: This one is another hyped book. Oh, my but the hype sounds like it's well-deserved. The plot sounds absolutely incredible and it is going to be one of those books I kick myself for not reading sooner.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: I've had this book on my shelf for years. 2018 is the year of no excuses with this book because it's being adapted for film. I will, of course, have to read it before the movie comes out.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I fell in love with Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom and know I have to read Bardugo's first series. I'm hoping that it will be as amazing as the Six of Crows duology, if not even better.

The Diviners by Libba Bray: I must confess that I haven't read The Diviners yet because it is just so big. However, I'm going to have to suck it up because Libba Bray is one of my all-time favorite authors and I need to get caught up in her latest series. Now, if only they stop with all the cover changes! 

What books are you hoping to read soon?

book review

Fantastic Inside and Out | A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Friday, January 05, 2018

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: 11/4/14
Pages: 368
Source: purchased

Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father's killer through multiple dimensions.

Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.


Marguerite, the daughter of two genius scientists, gets caught up in a journey beyond this universe. Literally. Her parents created a device which will transport a person to an alternate universe. However, when Marguerite’s dad is pronounced dead at the scene of a car accident, she knows it can’t be an accident. Murder—and Marguerite knows who did it. The only problem is the killer may not even be in this very universe anymore. Marguerite, with the help of Theo, search for her father’s killer—stepping into alternate universes they could have only dreamed of. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray will have your heart in a thousand pieces by the end of this book. In a good way.


Claudia Gray, author of the Evernight series, goes in a completely different direction with this one. Gray certainly surprised me with this fantastic start to a series, I already know I will love. Evernight is a series of vampires, boarding schools, and mystery. I read up to the fourth in the series and then just stopped. The plot had gotten overused, too long, and I just fell out of love with the series. I can’t tell you exactly what made me stop—it could have been the constant trend of vampires in books that year or it could have been a hundred other reasons. All in all, I was wary starting this new series that has created such a huge hype. I kept thinking “it can’t be that good” or “I don’t know about this one, it could be similar to the Evernight series.” This is the part where I slap myself for being stupid because (a) it can be that good and was even better than good [insert amazing, fantastic, perfect synonym here] and (b) it wasn’t similar at all to the Evernight series. 

As soon as Marguerite, the main character, begins her journey to kill the man who murdered her father—the story immediately becomes relatable. The story was more than a romance, more than a fantasy. It is a story of compassion, bravery, and courage. It is a tale of layers upon layers of “what would you do to save the ones you love?” 

Marguerite risks her life to save her father, plunging into different worlds to kill the one who murdered her father. However, her flaw of trusting people too easily and taking things at face value irked me. Just because he said he did not kill her father, does not mean that he didn’t kill her father. Even though I have a cookie in my hand and tell you I didn’t steal a cookie before dinner, Marguerite would probably believe that I didn’t steal a cookie because that is what I told her. That is infuriating.  As soon as she started changing her mind, I knew I couldn’t completely rely on her (yah! I love unreliable narrators).


The plot is a “what if” tale, even as a reader, the constant question of “what if this happens” comes into play. These what ifs become answered within the genius of Claudia Gray’s writing and the worlds she created. Gray introduces the reader to five different worlds. Going into this book, I knew it was about alternate universes so I expected Gray to bring in multiple universes. With that many universes, I was a bit worried that I would be so confused. I’m the type of reader who gets confused by five or more point of views in a book. My worry was unnecessary. Gray tackles the universes one by one, in amazing detail, which leaves no confusion for the reader. The flow of the novel ensures that no matter how close a universe is to one another, Marguerite keeps reminding the reader that it is different and Gray tells us how it is different. It’s simple and gorgeous.

The ending of A Thousand Pieces of You wraps almost everything up in a nice, tight bow (there’s a sequel, don’t worry). I was left with the warm fuzzy feeling I get when the book is really amazing and I just don’t want it to end. I cannot wait to begin what Claudia Gray has in store for us next (and I mean it, like I need the sequel in my hands at this very moment!)

A Thousand Pieces of You is a book so powerful, it will pull readers out of slumps, out of their own worlds, and it will tear them to pieces (you know, in a good way).


A Thousand Pieces of You (11/4/14): 5 stars

blogger behind the bookshelf

Bookish Goals for the New Year (2018)

Thursday, January 04, 2018

When the clock chimed midnight and it was finally 2018, I knew I wanted to make it an organized year. I rarely set goals but last year in 2017, my bookish goals were relatively simple with read 100 pages per day and to read at least 80 books. I am so proud that I was able to surpass my goal of 80 and complete the year at 102. I did not read 100 pages every day but I was able to read much more than I ever have before. Since last year’s goals were mostly a success, I thought I’d get a little ambitious this year with my goals. Let’s go for the gold, shall we?


Read at least 50 books

I’m moving the goal down from last year. Even though I went beyond 80, there was a certain pressure that came with finishing so many books. So, this year, I want to take it easy and try not to feel so pressured in reading all the books.

Focus on Backlist Books

In doing my 2017 reading stats, I discovered I have over 500 books on my TBR. Most of those books are backlist books, meaning they were publishing in 2017 or earlier. I need to really focus on all the titles I have forgotten when a new shiny cover comes my way. This is why I will be participating in the Beat the Backlist 2018 Challenge, hosted by NovelKnight.com. After sign up, you are randomly assigned to a team filled with other readers to help motivate you to stay on track. The challenge helps readers read those books that have been on their shelves for way too long. During the challenge, I hope to read 30 or more backlist books. I will be tracking my progress in my monthly wrap-up posts, Kickin’ It.

Buy Less Books

I know I will have a problem with this one. And the goal isn’t so much of buying less books as it is to spending less money.  Plus, I'm restricting myself in what books I do buy. As in the book has to be a sequel in a series or by an author I have read before and loved. This, of course, excludes review copies, box subscriptions, and gifted books.

Finish at least 12 Series

I was able to finally finish several series last year. Hopefully, I continue and to make sure the goal happens, I want to try to finish a series each month. Here are a few series that I hope to be able to finish this year:





Read More Classics

I would love to branch out and read more literary fiction, as well as more classics. I even have some classics on my shelves that have been waiting for me. I’m hoping to read at least these five:


Mansfield Park by Jane Austen | Emma by Jane Austen | The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum | Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll | Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Write More

And last but not least, I want to start writing more.  In the past few months, I’ve been working on several outlines that are ready for first drafts. The scariest part is actually starting, I suppose.

i can do anything abc GIF by Dancing with the Stars

Happy New Year! What are your goals for the new year?

best of 2017

My Year in Books | 2017 in Review

Friday, December 29, 2017


2017 is almost to a close; can you believe it? Despite the year just being "meh" for me, book-wise, 2017 was the best year for me as a reader. In the beginning of the year, I set out to try to read 100 pages per day. And there were some days I just couldn't make that. However, the goal did make me read more than I usually would. Without further ado, let's wrap up the year with Jamie's End of Year Book Survey via The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Number of Books Read:


Number of Rereads: 0

A big fat zero for that one. I rarely reread but I'm hoping to catch up on all the series I've forgotten about which means reading the first books over again. I'm looking forward to it. Also, maybe 2018 will be the year I finally reread some of my favorites from high school such as Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. It would be interesting to see if I still love them as much as high-school me did.

Genre Read the Most: Fantasy

Reading most from fantasy is quite shocking to me; I'm always telling myself I have to read more fantasy because I absolutely adore the genre and can't get enough of it. And I finally did it! I read mostly fantasy all year which is amazing!

Book Format Read the Most:


Length of Books Read:



Best Book Read in 2017?


The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas | Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Book I Was Excited About & Thought I Was Going to Love More But Didn't:


A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (review): I was so looking forward to this! I pre-ordered it and waited by the mailbox, just hoping it would arrive. (The book showed up late.) A Court of Mist and Fury was pure perfection so either this would follow in its footsteps or I would be disappointed. Sadly, it wasn't my favorite.

Most surprising book I read?


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: When I first read Fangirl, I was impressed with all the excerpts of Carry On but wasn't really sold on it. I wasn't going to read the companion but then this paperback edition released and it was gorgeous so I had to give the book a try. And it was amazing! 

Book you 'pushed' the most people to read?


Ten by Gretchen McNeil (review): I did a back-to-back read with my mom because Ten was becoming a Lifetime Movie. I wasn't sure what to expect but Ten is a rip-off on the classic And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. 

Best series started? Best sequel? Best series ender?


Best series started: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater | Best sequel: King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard | Best series ender: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Favorite new author I discovered in 2017?

Maggie Stiefvater - The Raven Boys: I know it's hard to believe that I haven't read Stiefvater up to this year but I am so happy I finally read her books. They are truly fantastic! I can't wait to read her other books.

Best book from a genre I don’t typically read/was out of my comfort zone?


The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert: This one has been on my shelf for so long that I just picked it up and deemed it time to finally read. And I know why I was putting it off, it just doesn't sound like something I would enjoy. A coming of age story of a botanist. I don't even like to garden but I was blown away by the writing and the characters. 

Favorite cover of a book read in 2017?

Most memorable character of 2017?


Monty from The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | Jackaby from Jackaby by William Ritter | Lara Jean from Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Most beautifully written book read in 2017?


And I Darken by Kiersten White

Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2017?


Book I FINALLY read this year?


Royally Crushed by Niki Burnham

 Shortest & Longest Book Read in 2017?

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting read this year?


Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor

Books I'm Most Anticipating For 2018?


War Storm by Victoria Aveyard | Save the Date by Morgan Matson | Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare | Wires and Nerve Volume 2 - Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer

How was your 2017?

book review

Too Many Questions | The Accident Season by Moria Fowley Doyle

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Accident Season by Moria Fowley Doyle


Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Publication Date: 8/18/15
Pages: 282
Source: purchased

A bewitching, dark and beautiful debut novel about a girl living in the shadow of a mysterious curse.

It's the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara's life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara's family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items - but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?


Every October, Cara’s family struggles through the accident season. The world becomes more dangerous. Their bones become more breakable. And sometimes there are deaths. Can this all be just accidents? In this mysterious debut, The Accident Season by Moria Fowley Doyle will have you turning pages like never before.

Unexpected Story

  • The book wasn't what I was expected. I thought I was going into a story about witches or ghosts and we didn't get much of either. 
  • The Accident Season is set in Ireland, a fact I wouldn’t have noticed unless I looked up some of the town names dropped. In settings such as Ireland, I expect to be wowed by descriptions of gorgeous scenery and beautiful backdrops but besides the random mention of towns, readers would never know. It is a missed opportunity, to be sure.
  • The Accident Season was strange. I didn’t love it but the fast pacing drew me in to the story. And the farther I got into the story, the more original and unique it got which made it difficult to put my thoughts in order for this review. 

Peculiar Characters

  • Cara, the protagonist, was a fantastic character. I enjoyed getting inside her head, seeing things from her perspective. Despite the spooky factor of the book, Cara remained levelheaded—looking at things from multiple angles. It allowed readers to come to conclusions on their own.
  • The relationship that Cara had with her ex-stepbrother was most evident from the start. There didn't seem to be any build to the romance since they were so close to begin with. It would have been nice to get a little more scenes where their relationship started to develop from the start through a series of flashbacks, perhaps. This is most definitely falling prey to the falling in love with your best friend cliché. However, quite frankly, I thought the relationship was very peculiar. On the one hand, you had Cara who insisted that they were definitely not brother and sister. But then you had Sam who made sure everyone knew Cara was his sister, despite having feelings for her.  It made it really strange to see them as anything other than brother-sister especially since they seemed to have such a close, platonic relationship to begin with.

So Many Questions

  • In The Accident Season, there are way more questions than there are answers. While reading, several things were left unexplained. It was a bit infuriating; especially since the big reveal, the accident season itself isn’t fully understood. While the end wraps everything up, it sure is one very messy wrap-job. The execution seems unorganized with so many elements going on. The book concludes with "everything's connected, so there" which seems like a cop out. Please, give me more answers than that.
  • It’s one of those books that would be difficult to explain to people because there are so many elements to the story. I wouldn’t know where to start first. The Accident Season came across as unorganized as if there wasn't a true main goal. What were these characters working towards anyway?

Overall

The Accident Season by Moria Fowley Doyle is a fast paced mystery with a disorganized structure and an unexpected story. The protagonist’s narrative is superb and the spooky theming is absolutely perfect for autumn. However, The Accident Season was just not the book for me, leaving me with several unanswered questions.